How to Test a Dryer Start Switch

How to Test a Dryer Start Switch. It's not a good feeling when you load up your dryer with soggy clothes only to have the machine not turn on when you turn the start switch. While the reasons that your dryer isn't working could be numerous, in most cases, either the power is off or the dryer's start switch may be bad. If you have checked the power to the dryer and it is still on, then let's take a look at the switch. Here is how to test the start switch on a dryer.

Step 1

Unplug the dryer or turn off the circuit breaker delivering power to it, whichever is easiest for you. Since we are going to be opening the dryer's control panel, you want to make sure the power is OFF!

Step 2

Place the towel down at the base of the control panel along the top of the dryer. We will be resting the panel on the dryer top and the towel will help to protect the dryer's finish.

Step 3

Along the top (or on the backside) of the control panel, you should see a number of screws. Use your screwdriver to remove the screws and this should release the control panel.

  • A quick tip: Use a screwdriver that has a magnetized tip. This will help save you from dropping screws down behind the dryer!

Step 4

With the control panel released, carefully pull it out and set it on the towel. Locate the backside of the start switch. Most start switches have either two or three wires attached to them.

Before you disconnect the wires, label them or write down in a notebook where they each get connected to save yourself a headache later.

Step 5

Use your needlenose pliers to remove the slip connectors from the terminals. They simply slide off, but be sure to pull the connector off by pulling on the connector itself, NOT the wire.

Step 6

With all of the wires removed from the start switch, set your multitester to read ohms. This setting is usually marked R1 or RX1 on the tester.

Step 7

If your switch featured two wires, touch one probe of your tester to each terminal. The tester should read infinity. Now, while keeping the probes touching the terminals, press or turn the start switch and hold it there. The tester should then read zero. If it doesn't change, the switch is bad.

Step 8

If you have a three-wire switch, find the terminal marked NC or CT1. Touch one probe to this terminal. Then find the terminal labeled CO or R1 and press the other probe to that terminal. Your tester should read infinity. Press or turn your switch on and hold it and the tester should read zero. If it does not, then your switch is bad.

Step 9

To replace the switch, simply remove the existing one, take it to an appliance store for the proper replacement and install it as you disassembled the original one.